Research Findings on Akaki River Disclosed
The research the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) conducted in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) on Akaki Rivers was disclosed on a consultative meeting held in EPHI’s Training Center on July 25, 2018.
The research’s objectives were to understand the Pollution status of Akaki River and the extent of microbial, and trace metals transportation in food and environmental matrices adjoining the river and its tributaries.
Dr. Tsigereda Kifle, EPHI’s Deputy Director General while opening the meeting said that this research aims to benefit all the stakeholders and help decision and policy makers to come up with evidence based decisions.
After the opening remark, Sisay Derso and Abel W/Tinsae from EPHI’s Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate presented the report of the research.
Sisay Derso explained that Akaki River, main tributary of Awash River, is hugely polluted because of uncontrolled waste disposal from industry and other sources from city of Addis Ababa. Due to severely pollution of Akaki River, there is a very high risk to human health, and the surrounding environment (air, soil, and water). Exposure to these wastes, which contain toxic components such as chemicals, pathogens, is of great concern, as it poses not only health risks to humans but also potentially unacceptable ecological risks to plants, animals and macroinvertebrates, which are abundant to water bodies.
“Macro invertebrates which live in water were collected from the 27 sites during summer and winter seasons, and their diversity was studied; and the Shimmer Diversity Index (SDI) and the ecological balance have been registered. The PH levels of the waters are high and the Nitrite levels are more than what the standard indicates’’ added Sisay.
Abel in his part presented cancer and other potential diseases that may affect the farmers around the Akaki Rivers. He indicated that there are 1574 farmers around the river and 14 types of vegetables are produced.
“Poisons minerals like lead, cadmium and chromium are identified from the samples collected. For this 36 soil, 27 fish and 51 vegetable samples were collected from 12 farms.
Following the presentations questions and discussion session followed which all the audiences had actively participated.